Changing gender narratives using inclusive design
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering and Management Program.
System Design and Management Program.
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With the shifting landscape of gender and the blurring gender identities, we are living in the time of a gender revolution. This thesis explores the interrelations of gender and the design of solutions - two of the most fundamental components of the cultural framework which holds together our sense of social identity. Studies show that human brains use correspondence bias - the purported basis of gender stereotypes - to group people and thereby assume behavioral traits based on their activities. This thesis aims to understand whether gender-inclusive design would allow users from all genders to participate in the task at equal capacity. The implication is that equal participation would reduce the gender stereotypes associated with the task. The thesis uses "cooking at home," which is traditionally been associated as a woman's activity, as the case to understand this issue and further extends the analysis to understand whether the design of "meal kit services" is gender-inclusive and how that affects the participation among genders. The research showed that though more men are entering the kitchen, cooking still remained a woman's domain. The inherent needs of men and women were different across different stages of the process of preparing a meal and their perception of cooking also varied. An interplay of existing social constructs related to gender behavior was reflected in these needs and perceptions. Findings from this thesis show that the chosen meal kit service did not cater to the needs of either gender fully, and the service did not alter the levels of cooking participation between the genders.
This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Thesis: S.M. in Engineering and Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, System Design and Management Program, 2019Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 87-90).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering and Management Program; System Design and Management Program
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Engineering and Management Program., System Design and Management Program.